Who's Who: Meet California's New Citizen Redistricting Commission

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This diverse group of ordinary Californians, chosen from 30,000 applicants, will spend the next eight months redrawing the state's voting districts, as mandated by Proposition 11. By law, the commission must include five Democrats, five Republicans, and four independents or members of smaller parties.


WHO: Gabino Aguirre
WHERE:
Santa Paula, in Ventura County
PARTY:
Democrat
ETHNICTY:
Latino
BACKGROUND:
Born to farmworker parents, Aguirre spent his childhood following the crops from Texas to Oregon, California and Arizona. After graduating from high school and serving with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, he earned degrees in education from UCLA and University of Southern California and spent 30 years as an educator, retiring as a high school principal in 2007. He also served eight years as a member of Santa Paula's City Council.

WHO: Vincent P. Barabba

WHERE: Capitola, in Santa Cruz County
PARTY: Republican
ETHNICITY: White
BACKGROUND: The chairman and founder of Market Insight Corporation, Barabba spent 26 years as a manager at General Motors and served two stints as director of the U.S. Census Bureau during the Nixon and Ford administrations.

WHO: Maria Blanco

WHERE: Los Angeles
PARTY: Democrat
ETHNICITY: Latino
BACKGROUND: Blanco, an expert in the Voting Rights Act, is the only commissioner with previous experience at redistricting. Now Vice President of Civic Engagement for the California Community Foundation, she previously was executive director of the Earl Warren Institute at UC Berkeley's Boalt School of Law.

WHO: Cynthia Dai

WHERE: San Francisco
PARTY: Democrat
ETHNICITY: Asian
BACKGROUND: A longtime high-technology entrepreneur with her own consulting firm, Dai has also been a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and a board member or advisor for numerous nonprofits (including Social Venture Network, Habitat for Humanity, Women’s Initiative, and Uganda Rural Development and Training).

WHO: Michelle R. DiGuilio-Matz
WHERE:
Stockton
PARTY: Decline to state/Independent
ETHNICITY: White
BACKGROUND: A stay-at-home mother, DiGuilio-Matz previously was a program assistant for the Modesto-based Great Valley Center, a management analyst at the San Joaquin County Human Services Agency, a director for University of the Pacific's Anderson Y Center, and a member of Stockton's Community Development Committee. She holds a master's degree in community planning and a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and communications.

WHO: Jodie Filkins Webber
WHERE:
Norco, in Riverside County
PARTY: Republican
ETHNICITY: Asian
BACKGROUND: A graduate of UC Riverside and Whittier Law School, Filkins Webber is a self-employed attorney whose clients have included employers, insurance companies, and the UC Board of Regents.

WHO: Stanley Forbes
WHERE:
Esparto, in Yolo County
PARTY: Decline to state/Independent
ETHNICITY: White
BACKGROUND: An almond farmer and co-owner of the Avid Reader bookstore in Sacramento, Forbes served on the Davis City Council from 1996 to 2000. He was a registered Republican until 2006.

WHO: Connie Galambos Malloy
WHERE:
Oakland
PARTY: Decline to state/Independent
ETHNICITY: African-American (and Latino)
BACKGROUND: Malloy is program director of Urban Habitat, an Oakland social-justice nonprofit that builds bridges between environmentalists, government leaders, and businesses and trains people to become leaders and advocates for their communities.

WHO: Libert "Gil" R. Ontai
WHERE:
San Diego
PARTY: Republican
ETHNICITY: Asian
BACKGROUND: An architect, math teacher and member of a wide range of professional, educational, health, civic, and multi-cultural organizations, Ontai previously served as a city redevelopment board director for San Diego’s downtown district and as a city planning commissioner.

WHO: M. Andre Parvenu
WHERE:
Culver City, Los Angeles County
PARTY: Decline to state/Independent
ETHNICITY: African-American
BACKGROUND: Parvenu is a geographer, urban planner, and community outreach specialist who is currently a zoning analyst for the city of Los Angeles. He has also worked as a transportation planner, a community partnership specialist with the Census Bureau, a crisis relocation planner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and as migration specialist with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Central America.

WHO: Jeanne Raya
WHERE:
San Gabriel
PARTY: Democrat
ETHNICITY: Latino
BACKGROUND: Raya is a longtime insurance broker and owner of her own firm. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and UC Davis law school.

WHO: Michael Ward
WHERE:
Anaheim
PARTY: Republican
ETHNICITY: Native American (he is a member of the Choctaw Indian Tribe)
BACKGROUND: A chiropractor in Orange County, Ward previously served in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a special agent working on international criminal and counter-intelligence cases.

WHO: Peter Yao
WHERE:
Claremont
PARTY: Republican
ETHNICITY: Asian
BACKGROUND: The former director of engineering for Raytheon Corp., Yao also served on Claremont’s City Council for seven years, including two years as mayor.